Longtime Publisher Mark Smelzer Leaves JCK


Mark Smelzer, who has served as JCK’s publisher for nearly two decades, is leaving the publication for a position as chief content executive at Jewelers Mutual Group.

Longtime JCK account executive Randi Gewertz has taken the role of advertising sales director, while editor-in-chief Victoria Gomelsky will continue to oversee the content side.

“The JCK editorial and show teams want to express our appreciation for the 17 years Mark Smelzer served as publisher,” says Sarin Bachmann, group vice president of Reed Jewelry Group. “We hold a deep regard for his leadership, creativity, and ability to connect and build relationships with the industry at large. We are confident he will continue to do wonderful things for the industry in his new role. He will be sincerely missed by the JCK team.”

In a letter to JCK’s advertisers and partners, Smelzer said, “It is with a mixture of excitement and sadness that I am announcing my departure from JCK for a new opportunity to explore my passion for content strategy. I have so enjoyed working with the vendor community to provide powerful advertising solutions targeted to the JCK retailer audience. My new role will keep me in the industry and its annual event cycle, so I will see you along the way.”

After serving as the associate publisher of Variety, Smelzer took the reins at JCK in 2004. In 2009, he left for one year to become publisher of The Advocate, before returning to JCK in 2010.

In 2013, he was inducted as a member of the 24 Karat Club.

As publisher, Smelzer grew JCK’s digital reach, expanding it from a magazine to a daily e-newsletter, and introducing a podcast, The Jewelry District, and a new subscription service, JCKPro. He also oversaw the launch of the JCK Content Studio, the brand’s in-house content marketing arm.

Gomelsky reflected on how her friendship with Smelzer deepened when she joined JCK in 2010.

“Mark and I were already good friends when he convinced me to join the magazine,” says Gomelsky. “He’s always been the consummate publisher: innovative, curious, genuine, and kind. And it’s easy to see why he’s beloved by this industry—Mark is equal parts knowledgeable and fun. Among the highlights of my life are the countless trips we’ve taken around the world as JCK ambassadors.

“The brand wouldn’t be what it is today without his visionary leadership,” she adds. “Alas, it’s time another company gets to revel in his brilliance.”

Smelzer and Gomelsky in New York City at an American Gem Society event

(Top photograph by Nicholas A. Prakas; grooming: Claudia Andreatta/Halley Resources)

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